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Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Disabilities

Local Offer for Children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND)

All Local Authorities are required to publish information on ‘the Local Offer’ about all SEND services, along with details of any eligibility for specialist services and a signpost to support for those who do not meet thresholds.


How does Chiddingstone Nursery CIO know if a child needs extra support?

Chiddingstone Nursery CIO has an embedded system to ensure that a key person is allocated to every child. This key person completes regular observations using the Early Years outcomes as a guidance tool to assess each child’s development which are then used to inform the child’s planning around their individual needs and interests. These include interests from home and interests at Nursery. The key person completes assessments on every child to identify any support that may be required. These assessments are shared with the parents who are encouraged to add their comments and reviewed regularly. We then implement a joint approach in the child’s future development.
When a child initially starts at the Nursery we provide an induction morning prior to settling in, where the key person familiarises themselves with the child’s individual likes, dislikes, allergies, abilities and enquires if other professionals are already involved. This is the initial opportunity for the parents to identify any needs with the key person so that these can be catered for. In the first two weeks the key person ascertains the initial starting points of development and this is shared at the settling in meeting to identify any supporting statergies to be introduced.

All younger children are further assessed by the keyperson who completes the two Year check that is not only shared with parents but can inform alongside the health visitors report where progress may give cause for concern.

How will the staff support the child?

We have a named Nursery SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator) that has been trained through the Local Authority and is assisted by another SENCO trained member of staff. Between these qualified staff they provide support for the key person, child and families to ensure that the child’s individual needs are met. They both attend regular further training in areas of specific professional development.
We have robust policies and procedures in place which are reviewed regularly ensuring that our resources and environments are suitable and accessible for all.
The SENCO works closely with the key person to differentiate resources, experiences and activities to support the child.

Providing targeted or personalised plans for each individual child based around their abilities and interests to ensure targets are SMART(specific, measurable, accessible, realistic, time bound). The Tapestry online journals include an SEN section of assessment to support these targets. The SENCO also liaises with the Nursery Leader to evaluate the data analysis from the Tapestry online assessments. SEN is a regular feature on the agenda for all staff meetings to keep the small staff team informed of current developments for the individual children in our care and to cascade relevant training.

The Nursery provides a language intervention programme, Talk Boost where children are given opportunities to engage in language rich activities, children are also encouraged to take part in age appropriate small group and individual activities using the Letters and Sound programme. The Nursery also uses Communication in Print to give visual clues and timetable routine activities. Staff have been trained in the use of Makaton sign language. The environment offers quiet areas both indoors and outdoors.

The SENCO liaises with other professionals (with the parent’s consent) such as Early Years Inclusion Officers, Speech and Language Therapists and Health Visitors to gain further advice in supporting each individual child.  The SENCO and the key person will work collaboratively to ensure that these targets and strategies are implemented.

How are parents/carers included in the child’s education and curriculum?

Parent’s communication is highly valued and the key person will work together with the parents to ensure that every child’s learning is supported. The nursery has an open door policy and parents are welcome to communicate with their key person at any time and are invited in to a stay and play session every term.
At the initial settling in sessions the parent/carers will work with the key person to settle the child into the Nursery.

The parents are encouraged to work together with the key person in completing observations and share activities through the tapestry online journals from home and from Nursery to keep them informed of new interests so that this can be incorporated in the activities that are planned for that child and embrace the child’s learning styles.
The parents are invited to attend regular meetings to review their child’s progress.

Every child has their own learning journal that the parents can view at any time. The Nursery offer’s parents; Settling In, Two Year Check, All About Me and Transition consultations to discuss all stages of development and planning so parents can play an integral role in ensuring their child reaches their full potential.

The Nursery has links with the local Children’s Centre to provide information about support and training opportunities for families.

Parents are provided with an annual anonymous questionnaire where their feedback is valued and used as a self-evaluation tool which feeds directly with other audits into the nurseries development plan to ensure best practice.

How accessible are the environments?

Chiddingstone Nursery CIO is situated in a converted stable block of Chiddingstone Castle. The main Nursery entrance is accessed by three steps down to a front door. There is also access available on the same level from the back door through a cobbled courtyard. There is an accessible toilet provided and separate changing facilities, there are also disabled parking spaces within the castle grounds.

If the family has English as an additional language they are encouraged to share key words in their home language for the key person to understand with the child.

Risk Assessments are completed for individual children to assess, the environment inside and out, these are also completed prior to any outings and visits to ensure inclusion and accessibility to evaluate and minimise risk.

The Nursery environment supports different learning styles and embraces each child’s unique characteristics of effective learning there are visual clues as labels and to support changes in routines, timers are used to support sharing and turn taking and music is used for encouraging tidying up.

Helping with transitions

Transitions are a key time for any child. The key person ensures that these transitions are well planned and supported.
When a child first starts at the Nursery the key person will work with the parent to devise appropriate settling in strategies for the child to settle into the Nursery at their own pace.

Following on from the settling in period, for those children that attend another setting they are provided with a Link Book to ensure information can be shared by settings and key people and reciprocal visits arranged as necessary.

Leaflets are available for parent with additional information on settling in, transition to school, numeracy and literacy activities and suggestions for packed lunches.
When a child is ready to transition to school, the new teachers are welcomed into Nursery to meet the key person and all relevant transition supporting documents are completed and relayed to the school to ensure a smooth transition takes place for all children.

During the summer term, the Nursery joins the local school for their KS1 assembly. We also offer pictorial support of all schools within the local community and staff offer visits for individual transition support. The Nursery Leader also works in the local school reception class. 

It may also help if you view the Nurseries SEND Policy  

If you wish to discuss your child’s support programmes please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Nursery by e-mail
chiddnursery@btconnect.com or by telephone 01892 871315.